CAF ARTICLE: Are We Ready For Jesus?

I am really feeling like the hour is getting late when it comes to the possibility of Jesus returning.  Of course, none of us knows the hour or the day.  It could be 5 minutes from now, 5 days, 5 weeks, months or years.  The same is true for how much time we may have left in this life we are living and our ability to accept Jesus as Lord.  

“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  Matthew 24:36  

“Just as it was in the days of Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man.  People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all.

“It was the same in the days of Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building.  But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all.  

“It will be just like this on the day the Son of Man is revealed.  On that day no one who is on the housetop, with possessions inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything.  Remember Lot’s wife!  Whoever tries to keep their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life will preserve it.  I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left.  Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left.”   Luke 17:26-35.  

“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.  But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what time of night the thief was coming, he would have kept watch and would not have let his house be broken into.  So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.  Matthew 24:42-44.

Jesus answered: “Watch out that no one deceives you.  For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am the Messiah,’ and will deceive many.  You will hear of wars and rumors of wars, but see to it that you are not alarmed. Such things must happen, but the end is still to come.  Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be famines and earthquakes in various places.  All these are the beginning of birth pains.  Matthew 24:4-8.

According to the biblical record, nations are blessed, and under the protection of God, when we are living for Him, and are committed to His ways.  The way I see it,  the coming of Jesus is getting very near, or, the United States of America is going to cease to exist as we know it, and according to the way it was founded.  We have turned, and are being led, by the leadership, in the opposite direction of God and His ways.

We are being taken thousands of years back in time, to turning this country into Sodom and Gomorrah.  We are being led into thinking that this is some new enlightened way of thinking that we just have not been able to see until now.  God warns us of a society turning to this kind of lifestyle, or even approving of this kind of lifestyle in both the old and new testament’s of the Bible.  The account of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Old Testament and in the book of Romans in the New Testament are prime examples.

The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.  For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.  Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.  They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.  They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;  they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.  Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.   Romans 1:18-32.

Continuing in this direction, as it seems we are at an alarmingly increasing rate, we are walking right out from under  God’s protection.  This is not going to be a good thing for our country as we have been warned about in scripture in the example of Sodom and Gomorrah.

After 9/11, our country went to war against Islamists that want to wipe out everyone that doesn’t believe, look like or do exactly as they want you to do.  At the top of the list is Israel and the United States.

We have turned away from fighting them, by pulling out of wars against them, to helping them and arming them and just trying to ignore them and the unbelievably  evil things that they are doing around the world.  This is beginning to be more and more exposed by people, including top military officers, that are warning us about the vulnerability and danger that the United States is being exposed to.

I am not saying that I am a prophet, or that this is what God has told me is going to happen, but this is what I am sensing in light of scripture, from what is going on around us and what we see in the news headlines.  America, as a whole, is being led away from God and His ways.  We are being led toward being sympathetic toward the religion of Islam even though they are threatening us and want to destroy us at any cost.  

I feel that we are walking out from under God’s protection, and as we see over and over again in scripture, God allows us to go on our own, which leads to the destruction of a nation.  We, as humans, then realize that all of our efforts and intelligence are not in control of this world, and  we need God and need to turn back to His ways. 

I think we are going to be outside the protection of God, by turning away from Him and His ways in accepting a lifestyle that is clearly not the way He created things to be, according to scripture.  Then, I believe we are being led to being overtaken by Islamic rule from within, by leaders in our own country.  This will lead to major persecution of those that truly follow Jesus Christ as we see going on all over the world where there is Islamic rule.

“Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.  At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.  Because of the increase of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved.  And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.  Matthew 24:9-14.

“All this I have told you so that you will not fall away.  They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, the time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God.  They will do such things because they have not known the Father or me.  I have told you this, so that when their time comes you will remember that I warned you about them. I did not tell you this from the beginning because I was with you, but now I am going to him who sent me.  John 16:1-5.

Today, even in the church, there is a major deception going on which God has warned us about in scripture.

In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge:  Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.  2 Timothy 4:1-4.

For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect.  Mark 13:22.

As a country, to avoid a disaster like this in our country, we need to come together and be unified under the Lordship of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: “Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall.”  Luke 11:17. 

Whether we are close to the end of our country as we know it, or Jesus is ready to return, the answer is the same.  We need to be right with God.

for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,  Romans 3:23. 

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in

Christ Jesus our Lord.  Romans 6:23.

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  Romans 10:9.

We need to truly believe in Jesus as the Lord of all areas of our lives, and follow Him.  Not just be a “fan” of Jesus, but truly desire to follow Him.

“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.  Matthew 7:13-14.

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?  For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done.  Matthew 16:24-27.

Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.  Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.  John 14:23-24.

We know that we have come to know him if we keep his commands.  Whoever says, “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in that person.  But if anyone obeys his word, love for God is truly made complete in them.  This is how we know we are in him:  Whoever claims to live in him must live as Jesus did.  1 John 2:3-6.

Then he said to his disciples, “The time is coming when you will long to see one of the days of the Son of Man, but you will not see it.  People will tell you, ‘There he is!’ or ‘Here he is!’ Do not go running off after them.  For the Son of Man in his day will be like the lightning, which flashes and lights up the sky from one end to the other.  Luke 17:22-24.

All praise to our Lord and God!

Scott 

  

   

CAF ARTICLE: Alone At Your Jordan

Happy Wednesday to you. Hope your journey with the Lord is healthy today. I am still working my way through Oswald Chambers’ book, “My Utmost For His Highest”. I have the link below to the full devotion for August 11th, but I want to focus on this part of the devotion.

Alone at your Jordan. 2 Kings 2:14. Jordan is the type of separation where there is no fellowship with anyone else, and where no one can take the responsibility for you. You have to put to the test now what you learned when you were with your Elijah. You have been to Jordan over and over again with Elijah, but now you are up against it alone. It is no use saying you cannot go; this experience has come, and you must go. If you want to know whether God is the God you have faith to believe Him to be, then go through your Jordan alone.

This section really resonated with me as I reflected a season I went through last fall. Being a parent of adult children can be really tough sometimes. Some seasons are tougher than others. For me there came a time when God lead me to institute some tough love and it was tough for everyone involved, but in retrospect it has turned out to be the best choice for our family. Go figure, God leads you the best way.

This became a really lonely season in my life because there were a lot of people who disagreed with my steps. I had to come to terms with whether I was going to trust God in what steps He lead me in or was I going to be overcome by what my peers thought I should do. God gave me direction, knowledge and scripture. I should have had no doubt, but there were times I questioned myself. There was one night in particular that I cried out to God and he was silent. His spirit was there, I was not alone, but He had already directed me in the way I should go. It came down to was I going to please men or please God. I chose God. Some of those relationships are still strained, but I know that I made the right choice.

It was a really rough season in my life. I think it was the first time I had to really stand firm and slay the giant myself with the strength, wisdom and knowledge God had provided. It had to be my decision to stay and slay and not run away. It was a really lonely time in my life, but I learned a great deal through it and although some wrinkles of the situation are still being ironed out things have worked out for the greater good. God is good! All the time, God is good. Jen

http://utmost.org/this-experience-must-come/

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